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Bill Self to be named KU head coach

April 20, 2003
The Associated Press

Bill Self flew into town with Kansas' interim athletic director Sunday amid reports that he agreed to leave Illinois and coach the Jayhawks.

Kansas scheduled a news conference for Monday at 1 p.m. CDT, but it did not say what would be announced. Self, who was wearing a Jayhawk pin on the lapel of his suit, declined comment to The Kansas City Star when his plane arrived in Lawrence shortly before 2:30 p.m. CDT.

"I'm usually not this difficult to work with, but I've been told I'm off limits to you guys," Self said. "We'll be able to talk tomorrow."

Jesica Johansen, the Jayhawks' equipment manager, told The Associated Press that Self was having dinner at Kansas' athletics center Sunday afternoon with players, boosters and athletic staff.

"I met him briefly. He seems like a nice guy," said Johansen, who declined to say whether Self had been introduced as the new coach during the dinner.

Reporters were asked to leave the building, and chancellor Robert Hemenway again declined comment when he left.

"You'll have everything you want to know tomorrow at one o'clock," Hemenway said.

Kansas received permission last week to speak with Self about replacing Roy Williams, who left to coach North Carolina.

ESPN.com and the Web sites for The Kansas City Star, The Lawrence Journal-World, and The News-Gazette of Champaign, Ill. -- all citing anonymous sources -- reported that Self accepted the job.

Kansas assistant athletic director Doug Vance declined comment. Phone messages left by The Associated Press at Self's home and Illinois sport information director Kent Brown's office and home were not immediately returned Sunday.

The athletic department offices and basketball practice gym on Illinois' Champaign campus were locked Sunday.

The 40-year-old Self is 78-24 in three seasons at Illinois and led the team to the NCAA tournament each year, reaching the final eight in 2001.

His teams shared the Big Ten regular-season title in 2001 and 2002, making him the second conference coach to accomplish the feat. This season, the Illini finished second in the league standings but won the tournament championship.

Self's intensity on the bench and affable nature off the court made him a fan favorite at Illinois, which gave the coach a five-year contract extension in December worth $900,000 a season.